NEW YORK — Yankees reliever Zack Britton exited Friday night's game against the Orioles with an apparent injury after throwing a wild sinker in the sixth inning.
The left-hander motioned to the dugout instantly after throwing a pitch to the backstop that allowed a run to score, his ninth pitch since coming in from the bullpen.
After a very quick visit from manager Aaron Boone and a trainer, Britton came out of the game, briskly walking off the mound, down the dugout steps and into the clubhouse.
In the ninth inning, the Yankees announced that Britton left the game with "left arm fatigue."
The sinker that Britton threw before coming out of the game was clocked at 90.8 mph. Britton was averaging 92.9 mph on that pitch in a small sample size since returning from the IL.
Britton was making his third appearance since returning from Tommy John surgery on Friday night. He underwent the procedure on his left elbow last September, working over these last 12 months to rejoin his teammates and help out in New York's pursuit of a championship.
With a few weeks to go before the postseason, Britton was ramping up while simultaneously trying to prove that he's worthy of a spot on the Yankees' playoff roster.
In each of his three outings, he struggled with his command. Before the at-bat where he was forced to come out of the game, with Orioles slugger Jesús Aguilar in the batter's box, Britton had walked six of the nine batters he had faced.
Earlier in the day on Friday, Boone was asked about Britton and what he needs to see in order to put the southpaw on this team's postseason roster. Boone singled out the veteran's sharpness.
"With Britt, his first two outings, I feel like it's been good. I know he feels really good, which is good," Boone said. "I do feel like the arm speeds there and the stuff is there. Now it's just a matter of getting sharp and finding that next level of command and finding the timing of his release point and all that, being in these games."
Now, who knows if Britton will pitch again this season.
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